These are the hands and feet…

Contemporary Christian music group NewSong, founder of Winter Jam, is currently traveling in India to view Holt’s childcare and family preservation programs there.

by Brian Campbell, creative services director

Pune, India – The van stops at the mouth of a back alley neighborhood, where Billy, Eddie, Matt and Russ of the Christian music group NewSong step out with Roxana Kalyanvala, BSSK’s director. As they wind through the alley, the NewSong members begin to notice the houses that line these narrow streets – tiny, one-room dwellings with makeshift doors composed of wood, sheet metal and roofing tin.

The guys pause outside the doorway of a family in BSSK’s family preservation program, where a woman named *Shveta answers the door. With gracious gestures, she welcomes the NewSong members into her home. The guys politely remove their shoes and enter the home’s one room – roughly 8 feet by 12 feet in size. They stand beneath a corrugated iron roof, which, heated by the sun, has turned the room into a sauna. But the guys are eager to hear Shveta’s story and don’t seem to mind the heat as they listen to her talk, and Roxana translate.

Day laborers, Shveta and her husband work when they can. In India, the average day laborer earns an annual income of roughly 4,000 rupees, or less than $100 a year. To help support the family, their two children – a teenage son and young daughter – quit school to work. With day-to-day survival the main concern, the long-term goal of

education had fallen to the wayside.

Recognizing their need, BSSK stepped in to help this family out of dire poverty. The social

NewSong in the alleys of Pune, India

service organization provided tailor training for Shveta and employment leads for her husband. BSSK also provided the resources the children need to continue school.

“How does a family live on less than $10 a month?” Matt whispers as the group steps out of the house. Then, the thought sinking into his heart, he continues, “What did these children eat for less than $100 a year?”

In the alley outside Shveta’s home, Russ and Matt turn and look around for the answer.

“The folks of Holt International are the feet and hands here on the ground,” says Eddie. “They come in here and do what they can for these kids to have a better future.”

Holt International’s child sponsorship program is the best way to support the continuing efforts of BSSK’s family preservation program.

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